Sony NEX-VG20 Review – Full Review Including Video Footage Examples
Sony NEX-VG20 Review
Hey everyone! This is my full review of the Sony NEX-VG20. Let’s take a look.
If I could describe this camera in just a few words, it would be “the one that breaks all the rules.” Think of it as a high-end DSLR and a high-end camcorder put together in one. Basically, it’s a high-end DSLR sensor from Sony in a camcorder’s body, but with a DLSR mount that has interchangeable DSLR-like lenses that are adapted for camcorder like video.
It’s a crazy combination, and I totally love it. This particular lens, here, is one of my favorites from Sony. It’s the 18 to 200 millimeter zoom lens that shoots at F 3.5 at its widest focal lens, and it has a focus ring and a zoom ring just like a regular DSLR lens—impressive! It gets pretty massive at 200 millimeters, but the auto-focus here, is present, and it’s incredible. But, we’ll get to that in a second.
NEX-VG20 Review & Test Footage
Either way, up top, is a very impressive microphone Usually, built-in camcorder microphones are just terrible but this one goes above and beyond anything you’ll find on other camcorders. It records in Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound, and it does a great job at it, too. The rest of the hardware is pretty self-explanatory.
On the back, you have your on-off switch, your record button, the battery, and up top is an alternative pinky record button and a photo button to take 16-megapixel stills. Yes, 16 megapixel, good-looking, still photos. That is just due to the awesome DSLR sensor at work. That’s absolutely awesome for a camcorder!
Battery life with the stock 260-million power battery was decent. I got around two hours of recording time with it, and overall, build quality was rock solid which you’d expect from a camera at this price. You have your headphone jack for monitoring audio, here, USB iode, HDMI, the whole works. It’s really nice. And also the material that the outside shell is made of is pretty awesome, too. And you can’t forget that flip-out 3-inch touch screen LCD screen.
It has a pretty basic menu system and a single SD card slot next to the manual controls. I would have liked to see two here, or maybe a CF card, but I guess one SD card slot is fine. But when it comes down to it, you buy a camera for the video quality, and, like I said at the beginning, this camera is ridiculous. It’s a boss.
It breaks all the rules. It has sharp auto-focus, and DSLR depth of field—it blew my mind! It just doesn’t make any sense! There are also adapters that let you use with this Canon and Nikon lenses and other Sony lenses. You can see the footage I took with this stock 18-200 millimeter lens in the video above.
The K102I is what I’m using initially to record the video above, at an equivalent of 48 millimeters. That’s the focal length. Likewise, if you’d like to see the VG-20 in action then be sure to check out the video above!
Indoors, you don’t really get a whole great sense of how capable this camera is. If I hold something up to the camera, you can see the focus. The main problem with the focus is that it’s pretty average but it’s very very catch-sharp. So, it’s not fast, but it’s really really sharp. But, indoor footage, like I say, doesn’t take the most advantage of this camera. So what I’ll do is show you what it’s capable of outdoors and just note as you’re watching this footage that this is all auto-focusing on its own (see video above).
That’s the beauty of this camera. It has a large sensor from a DSLR combined with the focus of a regular camcorder. It’s basically like having all the focus for video on a 5 D-mark 3. It’s absurd. I want to show you that as well so you can take a look at it for yourself.
As you can see in the video above, this is beautifully sharp video outdoors. Everything in focus is really, really sharp, and it’s not even sunny. And even more beautiful is this super soft boca you get in the background. You don’t get that softness in the background from a regular camcorder. You just don’t get that. Now, that is the DSLR sensor really working.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Wow. MKBHD. This is just general, typical footage for a random object. Did you actually use this camera?” Well, yes. I too this all around and I continued to be impressed. It’s one of those cameras you just won’t want to put down once you start playing around with it.
So overall, I clearly love this camera. The handles are really convenient, the eyepiece is really adjustable, the LCD on the touch screen is awesome… I really, really like this camera! And there hasn’t been anything to stop me from buying one, so, yeah, just note that I really, really like it and you may, too!
Additional Sony NEX-VG20 Review With Video Footage Examples
Either way, thanks for reading this review and hopefully the videos were helpful and enjoyable as well. If you’re interested in purchasing this you can click the link below for the lowest discount price on this camera.